Is there a PDF size limit?

New Here ,
Jul 27, 2012 Jul 27, 2012

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Is there a recommended maximum size (in pages or MB) for a single PDF file?

We have very large (10,000+) page PDFs that are being created, and we keep running into problems with file corruption. I'm not sure its related to the size of the PDF, the fact that it is created using various other scanned docs, or because the original was in Acrobat 8 and we're now adding to it using Acrobat X.

Any suggestions?

thanks

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Jul 27, 2012 Jul 27, 2012

There's no explicit page number limit but there is a limit on indirect objects of 8,388,607 in a 32-bit PDF rendering application - Acrobat and Adobe Reader are both 32-bit code - and because each page consumes at least one indirect object, every PDF file created by or opened by Acrobat must have less pages than that. If you were to create a native x64 PDF application you could add more pages, but the resulting files wouldn't open at all in 32-bit apps.

Architecturally there is only one limit in

...

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LEGEND ,
Jul 27, 2012 Jul 27, 2012

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There are maximums, but it is not 10,000 pages. It is larger. But the problem with large documents formed from scans is that you may be taxing your system. Why do you feel the need to have a 10,000+ page document. Especially, one that consists of scans. With scans unless you have ocr'd the documents you cannot search the contents. You can setup a table of contents pdf and use links to get from one document to another. If you are running into corruption problems, you loose the entire document. If you have smaller files, then if corruption occurs you can restore the smallest part from backup or regenerate as needed.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 27, 2012 Jul 27, 2012

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There's no explicit page number limit but there is a limit on indirect objects of 8,388,607 in a 32-bit PDF rendering application - Acrobat and Adobe Reader are both 32-bit code - and because each page consumes at least one indirect object, every PDF file created by or opened by Acrobat must have less pages than that. If you were to create a native x64 PDF application you could add more pages, but the resulting files wouldn't open at all in 32-bit apps.

Architecturally there is only one limit in the PDF standard: the overall file size must be below ~10GB as the cross-reference tables which define the PDF structure use 10 bits.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 27, 2012 Jul 27, 2012

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When you get to extremely large sizes, you limit the usefulness of the document. You might be the only one with enough memory and harddisk space to open the thing. So the practical answer is much lower than the limit in terms of size. The limit is in useful content and ease of use. It is a lot simpler to create a sequence of PDFs and link them. For a book, it might be by chapter. For archived documents, it might be by month or such. In any case, a huge document becomes useless fast, even if it is technically possible to make it that large.

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2015 Nov 26, 2015

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Are these numbers still accurate for Adobe Acrobat DC ? I am unable to save an 11,2 GB overall size document. The smaller pdfs are already merged pdfs of a usual size of 500 MB. 

Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.151019-1254)

               BIOS: BIOS Date: 08/10/12 14:00:18 Ver: 06.10

          Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU G840 @ 2.80GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.8GHz

             Memory: 4096MB RAM

Available OS Memory: 3786MB RAM

          Page File: 6059MB used, 2405MB available

maybe i should keep the merging to 3,7 GB RAM  ?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 26, 2015 Nov 26, 2015

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notarf70115297 wrote:

Are these numbers still accurate for Adobe Acrobat DC ?

Yes, nothing was changed in the PDF Reference.

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New Here ,
Jul 14, 2021 Jul 14, 2021

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Very good info that shares on the max size of a PDF file. The response was in 2012.

" Architecturally there is only one limit in the PDF standard: the overall file size must be below ~10GB as the cross-reference tables which define the PDF structure use 10 bits."

 

Now it is 2021:-)

is there any update or change in the limitation or cross-reference tables that define the PDF structure uses more than 10 bits .?

 

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New Here ,
Jul 14, 2021 Jul 14, 2021

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2.Does the limitation only apply to PDF files that use the older Xref table format (PDF 1.4 and earlier)? PDF 1.5 and later can have compressed object streams that support much larger file sizes?

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19, 2022

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The x-ref table format limitation of '~10GB as the cross-reference tables which define the PDF structure use 10 digits.' is no longer present starting from PDF 1.5.

It should theoretically possible to have up to a googol (indirect) objects, the specification permits it since x-ref streams can themselves declare what the byte width of the object ID field is. 

Hope this helps someone, got this answer from discussing this with someone from the R&D team at our company. 

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2015 Jan 29, 2015

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the purpose of combining files is to search...if one could search a directory full of PDFs for a subset that contained my keyword, i wouldn't have to combine...but since i can't search, i have to combine...see?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 29, 2015 Jan 29, 2015

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You can search a folder of PDF files using the Advanced Search functionality of Acrobat/Reader.

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2015 Jan 29, 2015

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Thanks, this looks promising...

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2016 Jan 07, 2016

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I tried sending a 3 MB document for an eSignature and received an Adobe Document Cloud reply back "We were unable to create your agreement because your document exceeds your page limit of 100." True, my document was over 400 pages but the size wasn't all that large. Anyone ohave any ideas?

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